Rivers below the dams, water reservoirs and hydroelectric plants can be dangerous. Water is regularly discharged and released, especially in summer, which causes high water and floods the islets, gravel banks and shores very quickly. These water discharges are necessary for technical reasons.
Discharges help remove mud and sediment from the water basins and sand traps to prevent silting. Releasing water is done to get rid of excess water from glacier runoff and heavy rainfall.
Heed the Warning Signs
Pedestrians, children, fishers and canoeists are urgently asked not to stay in the riverbed. The risk of being carried away by a strong current is great. This risk is even greater in the gorges. Warning signs clearly indicate where this danger is present. In addition, the owners and operators of the hydroelectric plants as well as the community officials and the tourist office also post information about this frequently.
To make pedestrians aware of these dangers, announcements and reports are regularly published and broadcast in regional media (newspapers and radio). Furthermore, students work on site to warn pedestrians.
Information and images come from the Grande Dixence SA, Sion